WheelWOD Heads up CrossFit Games Adaptive Division, Looks to 2024 with Optimism
Champions like Rogan Dean, Casey Acree and Bayleigh Hooper have, for the past three years competed for the title of Fittest on Earth in their divisions alongside other divisions at the CrossFit Games.
But in 2024, they will compete separately, at The Adaptive CrossFit Games by WheelWOD.
Remind me: The 2021 CrossFit Games hosted the adaptive division for the first time and included 16 categories of athletes, eight each for men and women.
- Leading up to that year’s Games, an adaptive athlete policy was penned and released that included details on each division, classifications, rules and standards. The Open workouts were adapted from the able-bodied division to maintain inclusion and continuity.
It was at the CrossFit Games that same year, that Dave Castro, (who at that time was CrossFit’s General Manager of Sport) had a conversation with Kevin Ogar (co-owner of WheelWOD) who was working with CrossFit, helping to implement and execute the adaptive division competition at the 2021 Games.
- Castro was already envisioning a split: that the adaptive division would eventually have its own CrossFit Games.
Before the 2023 Games, Ogar was allowed to share his idea with the CrossFit Games team, that WheelWOD could potentially take over the entire season, and lead the adaptive division of the CrossFit Games by programming, classifying athletes and playing host.
What we know: After three years of adaptive athletes competing on the same weekend as the age group athletes, the teams and individuals, it was announced in October that this will no longer be the case moving forward.
- What Ogar has proposed is being made into a reality–WheelWOD is going to take over programming, classifying and hosting the CrossFit Games for the adaptive divisions.
In regard to the upcoming season, definite dates and locations are still unknown, but the 2023 WheelWOD Games will be held November 30 to December 3 of this year in Raleigh, North Carolina. There is speculation that the adaptive division of the CrossFit Games for 2024 could potentially be held in the same location, but with a slight change to the calendar.
Ogar indicated that the Adaptive CrossFit Games by WheelWOD will be held in September or October, verifying that it could be held possibly in Raleigh, but potentially somewhere else. Ogar also shared that there will be 15 divisions competing (as described in the 2024 season schedule update).
- “Now that WheelWOD is partnered with CrossFit for this, we have so many options for locations and so many more resources,” said Ogar. “This continued partnership with CrossFit, and this change will give us more space to grow, and more of a chance to focus on our athletes.”
In regard to classifying athletes in appropriate divisions, Ogar shared that they will be using the same classification system that they’ve been using for a year and a half, but they are constantly tweaking it and renewing it, trying to give their athletes the fairest competition and experience possible. He shared the same sentiment in regard to programming, that the workouts will be fair for all, with movements and movement standards that create an even playing field amongst all athletes.
As CrossFit has faced many growing pains in regard to the Adaptive division over the past several years, many are looking at this big change to be a solution. With an organization like WheelWOD steering the ship, (while still backed and supported by CrossFit), athletes and spectators are anxious to see how certain sticking points in the past are managed.
The bottom line: Ogar expressed that the response from his community has been mostly positive about this adjustment to the Games format. It is his opinion that CrossFit has made this decision for the betterment of the adaptive athletes and the division.
“I know this will be such a positive change, but it’s up to the athletes to really make it great. And it’s a chance for the athletes to show what they can do, and they’re going to be given more opportunities for this, more opportunities to make a living, and to inspire people,” said Ogar.